Cava is Spanish sparkling wine made in the same traditional way as Champagne but with different grape varieties.
Cava means cellar in Spanish and refers to the underground cellars where the wines quietly age in bottles before release.
Sparkling wine using the traditional method has been crafted in Catalonia (the area around Barcelona in north east Spain) since the late 19th century. The essential difference between Cava and Champagne is that Cava is produced in a warmer climate using ancient, local indigenous grape varieties (Parellada, Macabeo and Xarel-lo). The warmer climate yields riper grapes, so Cava tends to have lower acidity than Champagne.
Cava is separated into different categories based on how long the cava is aged in bottle:
- Cava: minimum 9 months ageing in bottle
- Reserva: minimum 15 months ageing in bottle
- Gran Reserva: minimum 30 months ageing in bottle
Similarly, to Champagne, the style of cava depends on the amount of sugar in grams per litre. The different styles of Cava are:
- Brut Nature: no sugar added, 0-3 g/l
- Brut: <12 g/l
- Extra Seco (Extra Dry): 12-17 g/l
- Seco (Dry): 17-32 g/l
- Semi Seco (Semi Dry): 32-50 g/L
- Dolce (Sweet): >50 g/L
Check out this clip comparing Champagne and Cava - with our Reserva Heredad (1.50 of the 2.58 minute clip.)